LIFE OF A DRAGON
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| Darkness surrounded
him. Even Glamrun's nocturnal eyes could not see in the gloom through which
he was carefully inching his way forward.
"What spell could have created such darkness?"
he muttered to himself.
Glamrun was a very inquisitive kind of Wyrm,
as dragons were sometimes called in ancient lore. He hoarded knowledge,
not riches or jewels and other such valuables. He was very much unlike
his dull-witted cousins, who all perished as they were bound to, either
killing each other, or being disgracefully dispatched by clever men who
coveted their treasures, or even sometimes dying for such a simple reason
as forgetting to nourish themselves for fear of losing their ill-gotten
Many times Glamrun had
seen worlds grow and disintegrate, more than he cared to remember. He had
witnessed the birth and demise of great civilizations and spent lonesome
eons in between. But for all this loneliness, he had always kept himself
aloof and distanced himself from all the upheavals, entertaining relations
only for the sake of knowledge garnered from varied learned men, scientists
and even sorcerers. The world in which he presently lived was at last experiencing
a medieval era after the customary collapse of a few enlightened epochs
due to people neglecting to protect themselves against more barbarous men
with the ensuing wars and destructions. So many times had he seen the Four
Horsemen of Apocalypse that his even tenuous notion of good and evil had
been lost. Pragmatic neutrality suited him best and ensured his safety
in these harsh worlds that constantly found new means to destroy themselves.
All that time he had
grown to a size unheard of, or more aptly said, unseen of, as he had not
allowed anyone to espy his great red-scaled body gliding on impossibly
wide wings, negotiating the air currents with defiant ease.
Glamrun had found that
cave high up in the Iron Crags Mountains in his endless quest for knowledge.
Such desolate mountains found in the far northern reaches of the continent
and battered by constant winds were not perhaps the most obvious places
for a fruitful search, yet bounties lay in wait for those who knew where
Profound magic had forcefully drawn him to that
forlorn location. Actually, any kind of sorcery was no great surprise or
challenge, as his own was the culmination of endless searching and learning
and probably encompassed all that could be sucked out of this world.
He suddenly came to a stop.
A barrier stood there.
He could feel it a few paces away. The darkness
was still vast, but he could sense a shimmering in the air, some kind of
intangible membrane reacting to his presence.
Humbling magic lay in wait.
He understood this was some kind of extremely
powerful shield, although strangely enough, it did not seem to repel him.
In fact, he felt attracted to it, almost invited by it.
Glamrun took his time, reaching in the depths
of his knowledge to uncover the reason for this unknown barrier he knew
would stop anybody or anything unknowingly.
But why was it compelling him?
The old dragon possessed incredible patience,
the reason for his long life despite the chaotic ages he had to survive
This time, however, called for a quick decision.
Uncharacteristically ignoring the possibility
of dire consequences, he approached the barrier and tentatively pressed
his nose against it. The barrier was pierced without any resistance. Not
needing more time to think, he kept pushing until the membrane had painlessly
enveloped his entire head. He anticipated what lay ahead
Once through, the impossible gloom he had
so far been moving through started to fade. A pale glow appeared at ground
level. And slowly, painfully so, something took shape. An open scroll was
now in plain sight. It hung in the air unaided, and as it became
more corporeal, Glamrun could discern golden letters and signs inscribed
on its surface.
The language was ancient, resurrected from an
age long dead. Before he could decipher any meaning, a voice resonated
through the cavern.
"Welcome, creature of my kind!"
Glamrun knew nobody, least of all a dragon as
the words seemed to infer, was there. As it spoke, Glamrun studied the
scroll. Each written word disappeared with each word voiced. This was inconceivable
magic! A scroll, which spoke with its writer's voice and will to a dragon,
Glamrun, obviously chosen to bear witness, had come alive when he uncovered
its secret location!
"Who speaks so to me?" Glamrun asked uneasily.
"Zamrel of your kind! I know you, Glamrun, and
within this message I have been waiting for you and only you.”
Zamrel was the name of a female dragon, although
Wyrms of his kind were hermaphrodites and changed their gender at will
making life so much simpler and more practical. The same could not be said
for most other dragons, which explained their internecine struggles and
their compulsion to mate, ignorant of the consequences. Only a higher dragon
could achieve such a feat and Glamrun experienced a sad pang in his heart
as he suddenly felt an unbearable loneliness.
"I'm the only one of my kind left. What befell
"You ask as predicted, Glamrun! Know that I suffered
my demise due to an obligation to create this message. My power, strength
and resources were spent to provide you with this message and assist what
lies in your future paths!”
At these words, the veil Glamrun had passed his
head through vanished with the surrounding darkness and a soft light entered
the cave to reveal in its utmost recess n enormous nest made from pebbles
and sand in which lay five gargantuan eggs of different colours.
The combination itself seemed strange and Glamrun
could not fathom its meaning. The first egg was cobalt blue with rainbow
hues constantly moving around it. The second was pure radiant gold. The
third one was bright liquid silver with an unending shifting of its colour
on the surface. The fourth one was hard ebony black as if it had been chiseled
in onyx. Finally the fifth egg was the strangest as its appearance was
not unlike that of dull flint, with no reflection whatsoever. It seemed
to absorb the light.
Zamrel's voice suddenly jolted an engrossed Glamrun.
"Hearken to me, Glamrun! We have little time!"
Glamrun suddenly felt resignation overwhelm him
as he realized with horror he was about to lose his freedom. Something
would be asked of him and they both knew he could not refuse.
"You and my unborn children must fulfill a destiny
I died for!"
"And what is that destiny?"
"You will discover all in good time! You must
first protect them, educate them in all your arts and more. Make them aware
of the world around you and let them know that one day they will have to
merge with its creatures for our purpose!"
"What! You wish to demean us by making
us share lives with ignorant ant-like men and other races'?”
-“Given time, yes! But know that by the name
of our race and your own, you are bound to their lives and protection!"
Glamrun's heart collapsed. Dragon’s names were
vital for their existence. How had she known his name? And why had she
given hers so freely?
"You have not yet told me of their destiny!"
"I shall not narrate my reasons now, the world
has ears. I shall reappear to you when needed. Only then will you hear
of what lies ahead of you!
Before Glamrun could utter another word the scroll
suddenly vanished and Glamrun was left staring at the eggs with a dark
premonition that long days of toil and care were waiting for him...
Looking at the eggs he sighed
at the realization that they must be moved to a more propitious location.
Five fully-grown dragons would never come out of that cave unscathed. They
also had to be fed, groomed and taught to fly and hunt. Fortuitously the
Old Wyrm knew the perfect place…
( Chapter 2: Zamrel's Children)